Couldn’t fall back asleep, so I planned out BBB–my Big Brooklyn Blast. The itinerary was as follows:
- Eat an Israeli brunch
- Explore Prospect Park
- Check out the New York Transit Museum
- Chill at a bookstore
- Try a rainbow bagel
- Walk across a bridge to Manhattan to meet my friends for dinner
At brunch, I surprised myself when I pronounced shakshuka correctly, as I’ve only read the name from cookbook pages. The meal was delicious, and I love Miriam Restaurant.
Finally full, I made my way to Prospect Park. After about two hours I realized my schedule was too tight to see everything there was to see. It was nice to have a New York park experience, though, outside of Central Park.
From Prospect Park, I made my way to downtown Brooklyn. Already familiar with the Jay Street Metro Tech station, I smugly positioned myself with a purpose. I waited toward where the front of the train would arrive, so I could exit the station at my destination as conveniently as possible. I could conquer the subway yet!
I used GPS to find the New York Transit Museum, but it took me a little too far. Luckily there was a sign directing me to the street corner nearest the real entrance. I had to turn around and head a block back the way I came.
I enjoyed every minute of that museum visit, but my phone was dying (from heavy navigational usage, of course). I hoped to find an outlet to charge my phone at BookCourt, which wasn’t very far from the museum.
Unfortunately, the bookstore wasn’t all I thought it was cracked up to be (according to Internet reviews, it’s one of the best bookstores in Brooklyn). Neither did they have outlets I could use. However, I was content that the employees let me hang around and read for a while. I looked up things to do in Queens and where to hike in the upper Hudson River valley, which came in handy later. (Sometimes it’s more enjoyable to read a book than Google something, you know?)
After wearing down to about 7%, I ran to the Starbucks next door to charge my poor, insufferable phone. At first the place seemed small and seat-less, but I made my way downstairs to a spacey sitting area where there was plenty of room for my butt, my phone, and my tablet–in a chair right next to an outlet. Thank goodness.
Thanks to my impatience,however, my phone STILL didn’t last the night. It completely died on the way to Manhattan. Since I was relying on the NYC Transit app for subway directions, I took a photo of the screen with my camera as backup. And I’m so glad I did.
To make a long story short, I wasted a lot of time. For one thing, I should have overestimated the time it would take to get to Manhattan since I was a visitor unaccustomed to public transit. Add in my indecisiveness about whether to pay an ATM fee to try a rainbow bagel or not, stir it up with my regrettable decision to walk Williamsburg Bridge to Manhattan, and you’ve got a big bowl of disastrous cake batter….Bagel batter?
By the way, Williamsburg Bridge is a KILLER WORKOUT. That thing is so steep. Steady up and steady down, the power-walking nearly did me in. I was in a big hurry to get to the subway station on the other side. Note to self: walk Brooklyn Bridge next time.
As it turns out, I was exactly an hour late for dinner with my friends. (Oops.) They were worried because my phone died by that time. I’d caused myself too much needless stress as well. I learned my lesson: always plan for an extra hour of travel time when you’re a visitor in New York City.
Oh, and bring a battery pack in case of an emergency.
Or in case you intend to make it a long day, ending with the Top of the Rock tour.